What Are Structural Home Inspections? 3 Things To Know

At a time of low housing inventory, more and more people are staying in their homes which leads to unforeseen issues coming to light.

There are several that turn out to be structural in nature. Drooping roofs, cracks in the foundation walls and ceilings, sloping flooring, and water damage to the crawl space or basement all call for a thorough examination of the building’s framework.

It doesn’t matter whether the building is newer in construction; residential structural issues arise from shoddy building practices and shortcuts. 

The likelihood of finding a major foundation problem is minimal, yet it is always prudent for buyers and sellers to have a residential structural inspection. It usually gives home buyers confidence and gives sellers more leverage when negotiating pricing. 

A structural engineer will conduct a visual inspection of the structural components during a property’s structural home inspection. They determine the stability of a building’s load-bearing elements, such as columns, posts, beams, trusses, foundations, and joists.

If a homeowner has any reason to suspect potential problems, they may have a structural inspection performed. This may include looking at the building as a whole or zeroing in on one particular issue. It would be best to hire a structural engineer and building inspector at the first sign of trouble.

A structural home inspection is performed for a different reason than a general home inspection. A house inspection is a more comprehensive evaluation of the building’s condition than a structural inspection, which ensures that the structure can support its intended loads.

A licensed structural engineer must conduct the structural inspection, while a qualified home inspector may undertake a house inspection. Practicing nationwide and statewide standards and having the proper credentials are necessities for each career. 

There is some overlap between structural and house inspections since both examine the building’s framework. Interested parties may start both before the purchase of a home.

When Should You Get A Structural Home Inspection?

If you want to make any home changes requiring the modification of your home’s structure, you will most likely benefit from a home structural inspection. Building new load-bearing walls or ceilings and installing flooring and plumbing are just a few examples of projects that a thorough structural inspection should always precede. A structural inspection is often required to meet local building codes; if one is necessary for your project, a contractor or architect should let you know in advance. 

If you discover a particular concern with your home’s construction, such as cracks forming around a doorway, you may want to schedule a separate inspection to look at only that structural problem.

Last but not least, if your house has been damaged by earthquakes, fire, or water, you may want to have a general structural inspection performed. 

What Gets Reported In A Structural Home Inspection Report?

Since every company is different, asking your engineer right off the bat what type of deliverables you can anticipate is necessary. Many businesses will produce a written report detailing the structural soundness of a building, what foundation repairs are required to fix any faults, and occasionally, a step-by-step scope of work. The client’s contractor may use this report to carry out the essential tasks.

Do structural engineers report to the city? Most of the time, this report will be adequate to meet the requirements of your mortgage lender or local building authority. Some situations need a more in-depth examination than others, so it’s crucial to double-check with mortgage lenders or building officers to find out precisely what they need to see in your report. 

Builders significantly benefit from these reports since they direct them in the right direction and guarantee the work is done correctly, and the report’s contents are also useful for homeowners as certification or documentation.

What To Do When There Are Serious Structural Issues?

When homeowners get a report from a structural inspector that is less than stellar, they often start to worry. You may be concerned about how much you’ll have to pay for much-needed repairs in advance. You may also wonder whether there is any alternative option available to you.

Structural damage is a red flag for those buying a home. In most cases, they will want to see an inspection report and warranty repairs completed.

It’s also possible to ask for a credit to offset the repair cost. In a time-sensitive closing situation, this approach is ideal.

If none of those options work for you, you may have to put your house on the market “as is.” To accomplish this, you will need to come clean about the poor condition of the property’s inspection and target cash home buyers or real estate investors like Assemble Houston. 


Is a structural inspection always necessary? It is important to remember that a structural inspection is not a comprehensive check for code compliance and thus cannot be relied upon as final verification that a building is safe for occupancy.

Due to the reliance on invisible factors and the current building codes at the time of construction, such an examination would be impossible in practice. The results of a structural inspection provide an educated assessment of the building’s stability. Furthermore, a structural inspection does not assess or examine the condition of potentially dangerous materials or places.  

In a structural damage inspection, the structural integrity of a building is evaluated by looking for telltale indicators of damage or poor craftsmanship in the building’s framework. Roofing finishes, electrical, plumbing, and boilers are not analyzed in these assessments since they are not directly tied to the building’s structure. A building surveyor is required if you want to examine the building’s structure, including the gas, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. 

You should have a structural inspection if the condition of the building raises any doubts about whether or not it is safe to occupy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *